French Drama in the Age of Louis XIV Comedy - Essay


(Literary Criticism (1400-1800))

Eleanor F. Jourdain

SOURCE: "Comedy," in Dramatic Theory and Practice in France: 1690–1808, 1921. Reprint by Benjamin Blom, 1968, pp. 6–43.

[In the following excerpt, Jourdain discusses the development of comedy by Molière's successors.]

It would have been difficult for any successors of Molière to avoid the dangerous homage of imitation of his methods. Molière had succeeded in making the theatre national in France, and in popularising the painting of manners in the middle classes of society. Now the whole tendency of the drama in the eighteenth century was to throw more light on the middle classes, and it is important to notice that...

(The entire section is 20293 words.)